Feng shui can can help you to create a positive energy flow in your home and to maximize your space. There are plenty of ways you can do this, but in this blog we’ll cover some basic tips on using feng shui to create a peaceful, calming environment in your house.
Step one: Declutter your space
Some more extreme feng shui experts would say to get rid of everything you don’t absolutely love. If your goal is a minimalist lifestyle, that may be practical, but it’s not for everyone. Whether extreme or subtle, decluttering is the first step to creating healthy chi, and you can get rid of the unnecessary without going too crazy.
Going through your things can be tough when the goal is to get rid of stuff. It might help to donate everything to a worthy cause. A good rule to follow is the six month rule. If you haven’t used it for six months, and you don’t see yourself using it for another six months, do you really need to keep it? Of course, this doesn’t always apply, especially when it comes to family heirlooms and things with sentimental value.
Either way, this important first step can be difficult to get started, but once you’re done, it can be very cleansing, and your space will immediately feel more open and accessible. And the best thing is: it will make room for a home yoga practice as well.
Step two: Practical organization
Once you’ve got rid of all the unnecessary clutter, you can then get ready to organize the things that remain. A well-organized space is crucial to maintaining a calm and productive environment.
Organization can mean different things to different people. To some, having the things they use regularly ready and accessible is ideal. Others work better when everything is put away in its own designated space. For example, my kitchen is better organized when my pots, pans, and utensils are hanging from the wall or ceiling, and my favorite knives are kept on a magnetic strip above the cutting board. This way, I can quickly grab what I need without rummaging through a drawer or cupboard. My mother, on the other hand, likes to keep everything put away in well-organized, hidden spaces.
When you go about organizing, consider what works best for you. Some might feel like my kitchen is a little cluttered, but to me it is efficient. As long as everything has its designated place that doesn’t make it difficult to access, your space is well-organized.
Step three: Plenty of light and space
One of the best ways to foster good, peaceful energy is to keep your home radiant and open. Pull up those shades as often as possible to let the sunlight in, paint your walls a light shade. You can also create a brighter atmosphere by utilizing shiny surfaces like brass and chrome. In a room that receives very little natural light, there are a few ways you can utilize mirrors to increase natural ligh. Yet never place a mirror directly opposite a window or doorway as this will reflect all the good chi the mirror gathers right out of your home.
It’s not hard to keep an open feel in a large space. Just utilize minimal furnishing and a statement piece or two. In a smaller space, there are a couple of tricks to make the room appear more open. First off, you can utilize vertical space by using floor-to-ceiling curtains and placing decorative pieces on top of bookshelves or cabinets. You can also make a room feel more expansive by keeping furnishings along the walls and keeping the center open.
Step four: Fresh air
Stagnant air can result in stagnant chi, so you want to make sure to keep a nice flow of fresh air going year-round. Whenever the weather allows, open up your windows a bit. Use the fans in your bathroom, laundry room, and above the stove to keep air flowing even when you’re not using a heating or cooling system.
It’s also a good idea to find some attractive houseplants to keep in every room of the house. Any type of plant will absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale and create healthy oxygen to breathe in. Plants don’t just help out the air: most types are good for feng shui based on their energy and luck, excluding a few, like cactus plants. You can also take the benefit of plants outside the home to your outdoor space. Anything from a small backyard garden to incorporating plants into a backyard swimming pool design can elevate the feng shui of your outdoor space as well.
Step five: Balance Yin and Yang
In order to keep the chi in your space positive and peaceful, you need to attain as much balance as possible. The concept of yin and yang is centuries old, and can apply to all aspects of our lives, even yoga. Yin and yang are opposite energies. Neither can exist without the other, and they work best when they are in balance.
In feng shui, yin represents feminine elements, while yang denotes more masculinity. Yin is passive energy and yang is active energy. When trying to foster a peaceful environment, utilizing yin elements makes sense. At the same time it’s important to remember that these two forces work together to bring about peace. You need to balance out any relaxing, or yin, area of your home with another area that’s more yang.
Traditionally, bedrooms, bathrooms, and yoga spaces should be more yin. Areas like the kitchen, the office or work-space, and family rooms work better with more yang energy. Calming colors, a gentle water fountain, dark earth elements, houseplants, and either quiet or soft, gentle sounds are very feminine. Features that utilize fire, like candles and stoves, as well as vibrant colors, lively music, and more busyness in the decor make up a more masculine space.
Even spaces that sway heavily in the direction of one will need to be balanced out with an element or two from the other. For example: placing a candle or two in your yin yoga studio.
Step six: always be mindful
There are a lot of separate elements to create good feng shui. In the future, we’ll cover the bagua map and how to find your kua number. For now, following these basic steps will allow you to utilize feng shui to create peace and relaxation in your home. Maybe you want some spaces to stay busy and lively. Others may be reserved for peace and relaxation. Staying alert to the energy in your home at all times will help you achieve balance.
If you notice something feeling out of whack, or you’re just not getting the kind of vibes you want from a certain space, take another look at the yin and yang elements, make sure there is plenty of fresh air and light, keep clutter under control and try to maintain organization.
Good luck with your endeavors, and please feel free to share your own tips and ideas in the comments!